An arrest warrant was issued June 19 for a Vian man who allegedly broke into a home in north of Sallisaw.
Gene Douglas Fleet, 51, was charged with two felonies: second-degree burglary and embezzlement. The burglary charge is punishable by up to seven years in prison, while the penalty for embezzling is up to eight years in the State Penitentiary, a fine of up to $10,000 and restitution.
According to a police report, on June 9, a Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a residence near Pinhook Corner regarding trespassing. A neighbor contacted the sheriff’s office saying he had seen and heard people next door to him, and he verified with the homeowner that no one had permission to be on the property.
When the deputy arrived, he noticed that the gate to the property had been taken off the hinge and propped back up to appear that it was closed. The deputy also saw tire tracks through the tall grass going up the driveway.
The deputy then spoke with the reporting party who informed him that he could still hear people next door and that it sounded as if they were stuck.
The deputy then parked at the end of the driveway in plain view to prevent a pursuit. While waiting, a dark-colored Ford Quad Cab pickup with several items visible in the bed came up the driveway. The truck was about 20 yards from the gate when the driver spotted the deputy. The driver put the truck in reverse and started to back down the driveway at a high speed.
The tall grass and mud in the area left the deputy unable to drive on the driveway. Another deputy then followed the tire tracks back to the main residence, a barn-style apartment with a shop. The two deputies eventually lost the tracks, then proceeded on foot.
Deputies spotted the suspect vehicle on a ridge and once they cleared the vehicle and checked the immediate area they saw a foot trail leading from the vehicle north to northwest. Other units also arrived in the area and began to search.
While at the vehicle, deputies saw several items believed stolen from the property, including electronic items.
Deputies later discovered a woman lying in the tree line. She gave them the name Fleet and said she was under the impression she was helping Fleet move property from a family member’s residence back to his home. She was booked in to the Sequoyah County Jail without incident.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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